Blog

heal from porn addiction

If you’re experiencing porn addiction, you’re probably wondering how it got to this point. It may have started with watching a few late-night videos but quickly turned into something out of your control. The more porn you view, the more difficult it becomes to stop. It’s challenging to fight a pattern that rewires your brain. You may feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or broken. But with the right tools and support, you can heal from porn addiction.

What is Porn Addiction?

A pornography addiction is a compulsive need to view pornographic content or material to the point that it interferes with a person’s daily life. It is a compulsive sexual behavior, like sex addiction, and a person can’t quit, even if they try.

Viewing porn offers a temporary escape from the stresses of life. But it can quickly get out of control, damaging your relationships, career, and health.

Symptoms of porn addiction include:

  • Increased porn viewing
  • Feeling guilty about watching
  • No longer enjoying sex
  • Spending a lot of time viewing pornography
  • A constant craving for more
  • Increased tolerance for more extreme or violent porn
  • Neglecting responsibilities or sleep to view more
  • Feeling like you need a porn “fix”
  • Low self-esteem
  • Experiencing sexual dysfunction

What Causes Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction isn’t just an issue of lacking the willpower to stop. It affects your brain. Your brain experiences heightened pleasure from a dopamine rush when watching porn. Over time, you build a tolerance, meaning you need more or more extreme porn to quench your need. Over time, you may have trouble experiencing pleasure, but you still feel compelled to watch porn.

So, what causes someone to become addicted to porn? Unresolved trauma is linked to issues with intimacy and addiction. Leading sex addiction expert, Dr. Patrick Carnes, found that 97% of people with sex addiction suffered emotional abuse in childhood or adolescence, while 81% percent suffered sexual abuse.

When children experience a lack of nurturing in childhood, it impacts their adult life. If that trauma is left unprocessed, it doesn’t go away. People may have problems with intimacy or relationships and turn to porn as a filler. It serves as a distraction or a replacement for the adverse feelings associated with trauma. It’s a coping mechanism that has negative consequences, as it can affect their ability to connect with others. Additionally, sexual or physical abuse in childhood can distort a person’s understanding of sexuality, resulting in a warped idea of what sexual relationships should be.

It doesn’t mean your relationships are doomed to fail, or you can never be intimate with someone if you’re experiencing porn addiction. But it often takes time and therapy to uncover the root cause of the addiction and understand the impact past trauma has on how you show up in the world.

Is Healing from Porn Addiction Possible?

Recovering from porn addiction is possible, said Sako Barbarian, Primary Therapist at Begin Again Institute. But once a person has an addiction, they’ll always be in recovery.

“Recovery is a lifetime process because it changes who you are,” he said. “It also changes how your brain functions, so you’ll always need to be aware of it and intentionally working to be sober.”

To take control of the habit, it’s necessary to place limits on your devices, like phones, laptops, tablets, and other tech you could use to access porn. It also might mean getting rid of these devices or installing software that blocks porn. You should also identify the triggers that influence your behavior and remove them from your life. Focus your energy previously occupied by porn on mindfulness – connect to positive hobbies, journal about your experiences, and be intentional with your relationship with yourself.

Understanding the Stages of Recovery

Recovery from pornography addiction happens in stages. It’s not something you’re likely to be able to stop on your own. If you could, you already would have. You’ll likely need help from a mental health professional to guide your healing journey.

Stages of recovery from porn addiction:

  • Recognizing the Root Cause. The first step to recovery is recognizing your addiction and delving into the past trauma that got you there. You may need to heal from past trauma before removing the coping mechanism.
  • Understanding Your Response to Trauma. You don’t always consciously decide how to react to different situations. Past experiences inform reactions. To understand why you’re experiencing porn addiction, it’s important to know how the mind and body respond to trauma.
  • Processing the Trauma and Begin Healing. You don’t have to do this alone. A mental health professional can safely guide you through past trauma to uncover the root of the addiction and help you heal.
  • Learning Tools for Coping. Porn addiction likely harmed you and your loved ones. It’s important to reconcile past mistakes, repair relationships, and learn healthy behaviors for the future.
  • Coping with Withdrawal Symptoms. Porn withdrawal symptoms are usually the opposite of the feeling you get from the addiction. You must mentally and physically prepare yourself for various emotional, physical, and psychological effects. Have a plan for dealing with these symptoms without viewing porn.
  • Finding Ongoing Support. Surrounding yourself with a community of supporters to hold you accountable and empower you is crucial to healing. Whether it’s friends or family, a support group, or mental health professionals, find people who will have your back during your lowest points.

Sako said that people with pornography addiction have to admit that they have a problem and what it’s costing them and those they love. Then, they have to get serious about healing.

“Once a person is honest with themselves and their loved ones about what the addiction is costing them, they begin to really see how vital it is to change,” he said.

Don’t Give Up Hope

Porn addiction can be debilitating. It’s tough to win when you’re fighting your own brain. But just like other parts of the body, your brain can heal. It takes time, patience, and the right support.

Recovery is possible, and there is always hope for the future. You can make the choice today to get help and change your life for the better. Contact Begin Again Institute to take the first step to lasting healing.

  • Category: Pornography Addiction
  • By Begin Again Institute
  • January 14, 2023

Inquire About our Intestive Programs

Let's talk! Complete the information below and one of admission specialists will reach out.







    Please prove you are human by selecting the House.